HouseMark’s 2021 Data Manifesto– unlock the value of data in your business

In October, we delivered HouseMark’s 10 Days of Data - a series of virtual bitesize events that explored the value of data in a way not seen before in the social housing sector. From comms teams to Chief Execs, data analysts to HR professionals, we welcomed more than 1,500 diverse individuals and were joined by expert speakers to share views, ideas and best practice.

There were some common themes across the 10 events whatever the business area. Here, we share our ‘Data Manifesto’ for organisations who want to embrace data-based decision making and unlock the value of data in their business for 2021.

- Start with your corporate plan. What is it you’re trying to achieve as an organisation? Use your data to inform KPIs that evidence and drive your objectives. A good test of a measure is to ask yourselves ‘what would we do if performance in this area dipped?’ If the answer is nothing, the chances are this isn’t something worth measuring. Do you have the right approach in your organisation?

- Create a culture that promotes data transparency. Siloed data creates barriers to delivering great services.  When people can see the information at the same time, teams can work together to build solutions. Visual, easy-to-read dashboards can help to make your key performance indicators visible, accessible and tangible. In response to this need from our members, this year we’ve launched new Annual Performance Summaries to provide a powerful, visual overview of performance in relation to peers. By making accurate, timely insights accessible across your business, understanding how you are performing and striving to improve becomes part of how you operate.

- Share your insights and help people to connect with what they are telling you. Not everyone will be interested in the numbers, but in housing we aren’t working with figures but with people! Look for real examples and stories you can share to help bring your data to life. What do the results mean for your residents, colleagues and your communities?

- Listen to feedback, and be ready to act on it. Insights are more meaningful when they drive action. As part of our STAR review, we heard from more than 13,000 residents and their message was clear – they want to be listened to and have their views acted on. It’s not enough to just listen to feedback, you need to be in a position to act on it. As landlords, you receive many pieces of feedback every day, both formal and informal. It’s important to be in listening mode, but the best organisations ‘close the loop’ and can show what they have done as a direct result of what their residents have told them. How are you giving you board and other stakeholders assurance that this is happening in your organisation?

Don’t be afraid to ask questions and get more support. Every organisation is on its own data journey! Our data experts are always on hand to offer tailored support and advice – contact data@housemark.co.uk to speak with one of the team.

Are you ready to embrace data-driven decision making next year? Contact elaine.middleton@housemark.co.uk to find out how HouseMark membership could not only show you how you compare, but show you what is possible, how you could be performing and how you could make it happen.

By Natalia Karska

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